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Radio Times
14th – 20th April 2012

The Pride Of the English

Diarmaid MacCulloch began his view of what being English really means by “discovering” what most of us already knew: that we English are a mix of many European peoples. He went on via rather irrelevant studies of an obscure Protestant sect and church bell ringing to his conclusion that being English revolves around the Church Of England and its adaptability and tolerance – leaving out the fact that for around 1,300 years England was Catholic, not noted for its adaptability or tolerance. 

Nowhere in his programme did he explore the cultural values that enshrine England and being English. Nothing on music, poetry, novelists, architecture, science and technology, nature, monarchy, Parliament or language. And of course our eccentricity and humour. All of these things which show us the English were ignored. One out of ten, Mr MacCulloch. 

Roger Payne 
Hampstead, north London